Archive for Wrzesień, 2013

Announcing the finalists in the 2013 eCommerce Awards

By admin, 3 września, 2013, No Comment

As the public voting closes on this the eighth annual South African eCommerce Awards, uAfrica.com is pleased to announce the finalists (in alphabetical order) in the 2013 eCommerce Awards:

• Style36.co.za
• 5rooms.com
• bidorbuy
• Citymob
• Groupon – South Africa
• HomeChoice
• Hot Online Fashion
• kalahari.com
• Loot.co.za
• Mr Price
• OneDayOnly
• Red Square
• rubybox
• RunwaySale
• Simplicity.co.za
• spree
• TAKEALOT
• Woolworths
• Yuppiechef
• Zando

The Winners of the 2013 South African eCommerce Awards will be announced at the South African eCommerce Conference to be held on 11 September 2013 at the Sandton Convention Centre. The conference promises to be an educational and inspiring event focusing on all aspects of eCommerce in relation to the local market. uAfrica.com has secured a phenomenal line up of speakers from the likes of Google, Mxit, Aramex, PayFast and more.

“We are looking forward to the conference,’ states Andy Higgins, uAfrica.com MD, “the interest that has been shown, not only from industry leaders but also those looking to break into the eCommerce market, has exceeded our expectations. I have no doubt that everyone that attends will walk away having gained new insights and inspiration”

The 2013 South African eCommerce Awards are brought to you by uAfrica.com and sponsored by AramexSA, PayFast, Memeburn, MyBroadband and BizCommunity.com.

Tickets to the conference are still available on www.eCommerceConference.co.za

 

SEACOM and France-IX strike a partnership to interconnect African Internet players

By admin, 2 września, 2013, No Comment

SEACOM, the pan-African service provider, has entered into a partnership with France-IX, the Internet exchange point operator, to provide peering services to its African customers. As the owner of a high-speed fiber-optic network that serves both the East and West coasts of Africa, SEACOM’s goal in becoming a reseller of France-IX is to extend African operators & service providers’ networks to reach international peers and content at the interconnection point in Marseille. The commercial offer will officially be launched next week during the Africa Interconnection and Peering Forum (AfPIF) in Casablanca, Morocco.

Shortening the path to global content delivery networks

The main advantage of this partnership is to provide African operators and service providers with a shorter path to the content delivery networks (CDNs) which handle both French- and English-speaking content. France-IX already counts many international CDNs in Paris and some of them have also doubled their connection with a port in Marseille, mostly dedicated to exchange traffic with African and Middle-Eastern networks.

More precisely, SEACOM will be able to carry its customers to Marseille where it will interconnect through a 10Gbps port to France-IX. Specific circuits will then be configured across this 10Gbps port for each customer in order to begin peering across the exchange. Even though these customers will be connected through SEACOM, they will benefit from the same services and rights as any members directly connected to France-IX: access to a webportal with their own SFlow statistics, 24/7 technical monitoring and support, vote during the general assemblies.

More than 19 countries to benefit from this offer

“Partnerships such as this, together with our African and Global points of presence, allow SEACOM to provide innovative solutions that enable our customers’ to enhance their service offerings. Furthermore such a combination continues to place SEACOM at the forefront of improving the Internet experience in Africa.” explains Robert Marston, Product Manager at SEACOM.

On France-IX side, this new strategic partnership aims to increase the number of international members connected to the point. “We expect to welcome more and more networks coming from abroad in the following years and we rely on SEACOM to reinforce the presence of African operators on our infrastructure” adds Solène Souquet, marketing manager at France-IX.

Connect your office via 3G with the Huawei B686 3G wireless gateway and DECT phone

By admin, 2 września, 2013, No Comment

Make the most of your mobile voice and data contract with the Huawei B686 HSPA+DECT Wireless Gateway from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC). This handy device lets you connect up to 32 users on a wireless network for Internet access, as well as up to four devices using an Ethernet cable, and comes with a DECT handset for making crystal clear voice calls as well.

“Simply insert your SIM card for access, and your Small Office or Home Office (SoHo) is ready to go. The DECT handset uses the voice portion of a mobile contract, while the wireless gateway lets you share data wirelessly with multiple devices. Setup is easy, and the router delivers highly reliable connectivity. The Huawei B686 is the fastest and easiest way to connect your office via GSM voice and data networks,” says Rajen Naicker, Product Specialist: Hardware Storage Solutions at DCC.

Computers, laptops, tablets, Smartphones and even wireless printers can all connect to the router for access to the Internet, making a wireless office easy and highly affordable. The mobile handset offers wireless telephony, using the SIM card in the router, which helps to improve signal strength for better voice call quality. Telephony can be expanded with up to six handsets, so every desk in an office can be connected. An external aerial can also be installed on the device, excellent in areas of poor coverage. A USB port enables file sharing, or for a printer to be plugged in and shared among devices within the office.

“The router itself is also not locked to any particular cellular network, so users can easily plug in an existing SIM card regardless of their operator. It offers 21 Megabits per second (Mb/s) throughput, for faster upload and download speeds, and supports many different standards, so no matter what your level of coverage, it will work perfectly,” Naicker adds.

The Huawei B686 supports the following standards:
- HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) 2100/900Mhz
- HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) 2100/900Mhz
- WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access)
- GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) 1800/900Mhz
- GPRS(General Packet Radio Service) 1800/900Mhz
- EDGE (Enhanced Date Rates for Global Evolution) 1800/900Mhz

Additional features enable you to store up to 1000 contacts as well as 500 text messages. Once a device has been paired with the router, it will automatically be picked up and connect in future, thanks to Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compatibility. A built-in firewall, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server and Data Network Services (DNS) relay ensure security.

The Huawei B686 HSPA+DECT Wireless Gateway is available immediately from selected resellers and leading retailers for a recommended retail price of R2 499.00inclusive of VAT.

 

Pillars of PCI compliance

By admin, 2 września, 2013, No Comment

The Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) has mandated that merchants of all sizes that process, store or transmit credit card information must comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security compliance by the end of 2013. Consequently, retailers have to ensure that their IT security policy, payment switching technology and auditing processes are up to date to attain the PCI certification they now require.

Vaughan Alexander, Innervation Executive for Payments says that the process of obtaining PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) certification is a complex one with multiple areas being assessed in order to become compliant.“The ultimate goal of PCI DSS compliance is to ensure the consumer is protected and to do this, companies must ensure that they are in line with international best practice standards when it comes to their processing technology and security,” Alexander says.

There are six milestones that merchants will have to reach in order to obtain PCI DSS compliance, of which milestone one and two (related to removal of authentication data and limiting data retention as well as protecting perimeter, internal, and wireless networks) must be reached by no later than 15 September 2013.

Alexander advises merchants to begin by ensuring that there is a robust security policy in place for both virtual and physical environs, and that this is executed correctly within the organisation. “There have been rigorous standards set for both IT hardware and software,” he says. “Companies will also be measured on whether or not there are effective external measures in place that prevent intrusion and in instances where customers’ information is stored, it must be done in a secure manner. Furthermore, retailers will be required to show that employee security measures, such as secure passwords, work station lockdowns and single sign on management are in place.”

Merchants also have to ensure that the process of consumers making payments, using payment cards, remain secure. “This process, referred to as payment switching, must be certified and audited by a recognised qualified security assessor (QSA) in order to be compliant with the PCI DSS standard. The level of audit required is determined by the volume and value of payments processed. Large businesses undergo full internal IT audits, whilst small businesses are able to assess their environments by themselves,” Alexander explains. “Companies such as Innervation can assist its clients by consulting on their IT Security needs and utilising PCI compliant payment switching technology, which enables clients to easily fulfil the requirements around PCI DSS compliance within their organisations.”

Although these processes may seem costly, Alexander argues that it is well-worth the initial investment. “Whilst PCI is not, in itself, a law, the standard was created by major card brands such as Visa and MasterCard, and merchants that do not comply may be subject to fines, card replacement costs as well as costly forensic audits at their acquirers’ discretion, should a breach event occur,” he goes on to say. “There are also associated benefits to consumers feeling safer when trading on, or offline using payment cards. Currently around 70 percent of transactions in South Africa are still cash based. As compliance standards are enforced, so consumer confidence in electronic payment methods will increase. This will result in more cash being taken out of the system, reducing cash related costs, which amounts to around 1 to 2 % of GDP.”

Alexander warns that there will likely be an even greater focus on security as PCI DSS compliance continues to evolve. “Chip and pin card technology is penetrating the market at a rapid rate, and PASA has already increased their requirements surrounding online retail sites and 3D secure,” he states. “We believe that there is a definite move by the regulator towards increasing the overall security around electronic payments and this will only continue with the third version of PCI DSS that is expected by 2014.”
But Alexander says that the standard should be viewed in a positive light. “At the end of the day, compliance ensures that consumers can transact safely – and that is ultimately what retailers, both large and small hope to achieve.”

 

IDM implement Sage CRM for improved customer service

By admin, 2 września, 2013, No Comment

Intelligent Debt Management, (IDM), South Africa’s leading and largest debt management company, has successfully implemented Sage CRM. “The software has enabled us to improve our value, impact and service levels to our clients by catering for a scalable, efficient, reliable and automated customer management system, integrating with all business processes, end to end,” says Gary Light, Operations Director at IDM.

IDM offers comprehensive advice and a host of highly effective solutions to South African consumers who are facing financial difficulties and struggling with debt. The company operates from a centralised office in Cape Town, from which more than 170 employees service clients nationally through four separate divisions: DebtBusters, BondBusters, InsuranceBusters and Consumer Debt Help.

“Our business has experienced challenges with customer management processes, which were being handled manually and we were in need of a comprehensive and automated client management system. The requirement was one which could handle large volumes of customer data and cater for electronic document management and the archiving of data for compliance purposes,” says Light. “Sage CRM enables us to effectively manage process flows and to track the customer’s application throughout. The customisation capabilities of the system allows us to adapt it to our specific business needs and the software’s ability to integrate with other systems enables us to scale down on manual work and prevent the duplication of information on other systems. This increases our process efficiency and turnaround time and reduces the risk of human error,” says Light.

According to Light, IDM now has a scalable business process which is reliable and accurate. “Further to this, Sage CRM provides us with a centralised data point, addressing our compliance needs.”

Astraia Technology was IDM’s implementation partner. “It was important for us to select a partner with a good reputation, someone that could grow with the company and that has the skills and capacity to provide a cost effective solution, catering for future enhancements and satisfying our business needs as we expand,” says Light.

According to Leon Mouton from Astraia Technology the implementation process was done in great detail and involved numerous scoping sessions to ensure all aspects had been covered. “To minimise disruption of the workflow in the business, we took a phased approached. Full training was provided before the roll out, and was assisted by on-site support during the roll out.”

“Regardless of how, when or where customers, partners and prospects choose to interact with your business, Sage CRM provides a decisive advantage by delivering a comprehensive, easy-to-use system. The software equips sales, marketing and customer service teams with the tools they need to effectively manage the relationship with a customer. Sage CRM’s interactive dashboard is an intuitive and customisable workspace from where users can manage their customer activities and daily tasks, for the ultimate user-driven CRM experience. Sage CRM is quick and easy to deploy and can be customised to meet your business needs. Integrated with Sage’s leading ERP systems you can pull together all the data you need for successful customer management, giving you a 360 degree view of all your customers,” says Jeremy Waterman, MD of Sage ERP Africa and the Middle East.

Light concludes, “Without Sage CRM, our business would not have been able to expand to the size we currently are and we would not have been able to fulfill our compliance requirements in terms of the National Credit Act. In our business, we need to ensure that our clients are closely managed and serviced to ensure that their ultimate goal of becoming debt free is realised.”

 

Samsung – Redefining the B2B reseller market

By admin, 2 września, 2013, No Comment

The traditional role of some resellers has been rather limited in terms of interactivity with the customer on value added integration. While some resellers have successfully moved away from simply being pushers of boxes or devices, towards a more solutions-based approach, there is still incredible scope and room for change says Samsung Electronics.

“The ability to synchronise and integrate multi-model technologies is becoming a major differentiator for resellers,” says Thierry Boulanger, Director of IT and B2B Solutions at Samsung Electronics. “In fact, today one of the defining characteristics of an opportunistic reseller is the ability to dispense with tunnel vision and start devising value added services that will move their efforts to the next level.”

While B2B sales cannot be compared with B2C sales, there is huge potential for growth and adoption of this broader thinking as resellers have the opportunity to educate the market and sell solutions as a holistic whole, rather than merely moving products. As consumers continue to grow their knowledge and understanding of electronics technology and mobile communications, the choices they make in the business arena are geared around performance and interconnectivity, rather than merely around price.

“In the race to meet demand and to provide a more holistic market offering, Samsung Electronics Africa believes the goal posts have changed. No longer are we merely selling devices, but rather an emphasis on providing complete business solutions, customised for specific needs, has come to the fore,” adds Boulanger. “While some may see this distinct shift as threatening to the status quo, we perceive it as an opportunity to not only showcase our multitude of technology offerings, but drive unique models and opportunities for the reseller market to leverage – and the examples are endless.”

Just look at hospitality TV. Samsung TVs are perfectly tailored for this market, couple this with the inclusion of a full backend infrastructure and content management element – the perfect packaged solution has been created for this growing market. The same can be said for the medical sector. Samsung products and solutions for the medical sector have been developed and marketed with a full understanding of the very niche requirements of the operators. Input from reseller specialists in the medical field assists not only in the servicing and maintenance but in the development of a comprehensive medical portfolio. Furthermore, as the demand for improved and more widespread education accelerates, Samsung have incorporated smart education solutions that are able to penetrate even the most remote locations in Africa. A range of mobile communication devices needs to be supported and enhanced by the supply of educational content and digitisation of materials by third party resellers who are already entrenched in the educational sector.

If we look at the security side, a high-end range of Samsung surveillance equipment, CCTV cameras and other security equipment is producing favourable results for clients. The incorporation of a specialised backend infrastructure from a reseller, which includes a reliable network, a monitoring hub (control room) and remote offsite monitoring, provides an end to end security solution for businesses. Additionally, as businesses become more ecologically conscientious, they continue to seek ways of reducing their carbon footprint. At the same time, the move towards installing LED lighting in the business environment has positive financial implications. Similarly, intelligent climate control has come to the forefront as an energy-efficient alternative to simple HVAC systems. Specialised applications in data centres, where precise environmental temperature and humidity is critical, forms another avenue for the channel to explore along with comprehensive energy assessments to provide optimum lighting and environmental control solutions to businesses.

By aligning with synergistic business partners and resellers, Samsung are able to capitalise on the intellectual property, capabilities, capacities and resources of each individual contributor. Backend support and a wealth of application knowledge and experience embellish the holistic market offerings available.

“The bottom line is that businesses need to function with a sense of immediacy as competition accelerates in a demanding economic climate. By carefully considering the value proposition around a number of business sectors, we are redefining the traditional channel model and opening up new avenues to not only increase productivity, enhance service quality and delivery but improve market penetration and share. We will continue to seek out and identify business partners who are able to complement our technology offering for a more customer-centric experience and welcome partners to join us in redefining the B2B channel,” concludes Boulanger.

 

 

Dell Latitude Ultrabooks and laptops offer world’s best security and manageability

By admin, 2 września, 2013, No Comment
  • Dell unveils Latitude 7000 Series, a sleek line of business-class Ultrabooks for elite mobility
  • New Latitude 5000 Series laptops offer organizations of all sizes  best-in-class security and manageability 
  • New Latitude 3000 Series offers  reliable, affordable essential business computing
  • Durable, portfolio-wide touch display options at every price opens Windows 8 for business

Dell unveiled the newest additions to its secure, manageable and reliable line of commercial PCs: the Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks, Latitude 5000 Series and Latitude 3000 Series laptops. With this new suite, Dell balances sophisticated design, quality construction and uncompromised durability to offer businesses of all sizes a wide variety of solutions. The Latitude 7000, 5000, and 3000 Series are available with touch display options, leading the way for business touch devices that enable better interaction with customers, enhanced student engagement, improved patient care, and collaboration among knowledge workers.

“These exciting new additions to the Latitude line provide our commercial customers with what they’ve been asking for by bringing touch capability to the workspace at desirable price points,” said Boitumelo Kgonare, Dell Client Product Manager for South Africa. “The new Latitude 7000 Series builds on the success of the award-winning XPS and Latitude 6430u to redefine the corporate laptop, complete with security, manageability, reliability and beautiful design. And with the Latitude 5000 and 3000 Series, we’ve addressed the needs of today’s dynamic workforce by enabling easy entry into business-class computing.”

Most Secure and Most Manageable with Outstanding Reliability
Dell offers the world’s most secure commercial laptops and the Latitude 12 and 14 7000 Series are the world’s most secure Ultrabooks, with best-in-class Dell Data Protection solutions, comprehensive encryption with Dell Data Protection| Encryption and advanced authentication and leading-edge malware prevention with Dell Data Protection| Protected Workspace. Engineered to help save IT time and money, Dell offers the industry’s most manageable commercial PCs with exclusive Intel vPro extensions for remote BIOS management and hard drive wipe, even when systems are powered off, paired with Dell automated tools and utilities for easily deploying, monitoring and updating systems.

Dell’s passion for reliability is epitomized by the Latitude commercial PC family. Each Latitude Ultrabook and laptop are crafted using the best materials: brushed aluminum, reinforced magnesium alloy, strong steel hinges, woven carbon fiber, durable powder-coated underside, spill-resistant keyboards and LCD seals. Additionally, all Dell touch-enabled displays offer optimal viewing experiences, touch sensitivity, brightness and durability. The Latitude 7000, 5000 and 3000 Series touch displays offer Corning Gorilla Glass NBT for up to 10 times higher scratch resistance1 compared to soda lime glass which is the predominant material used in laptop screens throughout the industry. Latitude laptops also come armed with StrikeZone shock absorbers, Fast Response Free-Fall sensors and rubber hard drive isolation. For the previous three product generations, the Latitude family has outperformed its competition in third-party durability testing, known as MIL-STD 810G.

New Latitude 7000, 5000, and 3000 Series: Secure, Manageable, Reliable…and Beautiful
The sleek and powerful Latitude 7000 Series are the most secure and manageable Ultrabooks, with outstanding reliability, and epitomize mobility at its finest with business-class style. Touted as the Ultrabook to be loved by IT professionals and end-users alike, and powered by Intel ultra-low voltage processors, these thin, light and beautiful Ultrabooks completely redefine the corporate laptop.

The Dell Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks are:

  • Made to move, with the 12-inch model starting at just 20 millimeters  thin and 1.3kilograms (2.99 pounds)
  • Easy for IT to manage with exceptional integrated management capabilities including Dell-unique Intel vPro extensions and automated tools that plug into Microsoft System Center and Dell KACE
  • The world’s most secure Ultrabooks with best-in-class endpoint security solutions that include comprehensive encryption, advanced authentication and leading-edge malware protection from a single source, and  featuring the highest level of FIPS 140-2 (level 3) certification for system disk encryption
  • Designed for reliability, passing rigorous third-party durability testing and crafted with premium materials such as aluminum, a Tri-metal chassis and Corning Gorilla Glass NBT for scratch and damage resistance and optimal brightness
  • The only corporate Ultrabook designed to be backwards compatible with existing (E-) Latitude docks

Complementing the Dell Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks are the new Latitude 5000 and 3000 Series laptops, designed to help businesses of all sizes adopt secure, manageable and reliable notebooks. The Latitude 14 and Latitude 15 5000 Series are designed to meet most workforce needs with 14.1-inch or 15.6-inch display options and other key features, such as:

  • Reliable mobile productivity with up to Intel Core i7 ultra low voltage processors for extended battery life, a discrete graphics option for more processing power and a higher quality visual experience, and SSD or Performance Solid State Hybrid Drive options
  • Corning Gorilla Glass NBT on the touch displays for scratch and damage resistance and optimal brightness
  • Mobile broadband, Bluetooth and Wireless LAN options for mobility and connectivity virtually anywhere, and an HD webcam and microphone array for efficient, anywhere collaboration
  • Compatible with Latitude E-family docking designed to connect seamlessly with award-winning Dell monitors, wireless keyboard and  andard,ss keyboard, mouse an d award-winning monitorstionality and includ mouse

The Latitude 3000 Series is Dell’s newest line of entry-level commercial laptops for education and small business customers. The Latitude 14 and 15 3000 Series laptops offer:

  • Durable and reliable chassis that have undergone Highly Accelerated Life Testing, including hinge testing, keyboards and shocks
  • 4th Generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Mode for fast data processing
  • Business class discrete graphics with up to 2GB video memory for more processing power and a higher quality visual experience
  • Thin (21 to 25mm) and light ( starting at 4.3lbs / 1.55kg) design for great mobility
  • Choice of 14-inch and 15.6-inch Anti-Glare LCD for comfortable visualization and optional touch displays
  • Integrated microphone and HD Webcam for remote collaboration and interaction

Pricing and Availability
The Dell Latitude 7000 Series will retail from R12 999.00 and will be available today with the touch-enabled systems available from 12 September 2013. The Latitude 3000 Series will retail from R6999.00 and will also be available from 12 September 2013. The Latitude 5000 Series will be available in October 2013.

Supporting Quotes
“Corning developed Gorilla Glass NBT specifically to help protect today’s newest touch-enabled notebook displays from scratches and other damage that comes from everyday swiping, gripping, tapping, and cleaning. Compared to today’s legacy soda lime glass, with Gorilla Glass NBT, we are able to offer our customers 8 to 10 times higher scratch resistance,” said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials. “We are proud to work with Dell, extending these exceptional capabilities to Dell’s Latitude line of touch-enabled PCs.”

“Dell Latitude Ultrabooks not only meet our needs, but Dell exceeded our expectations with the time and money we saved using Dell’s Managed Deployment Services. When we decided to transition to a new ‘Activity Based Working Environment’ without fixed desks and a more agile staff, we needed to replace our old desktops and laptops with a lightweight, portable solution that gives staff access to applications and data on demand, and fits the cutting edge design of our new building. Originally, we looked at traditional laptops, but we were so impressed with the design, build quality, size, weight and performance of the Dell Latitude 6430u Ultrabooks that we replaced our entire fleet of computers with these systems instead.” – David Jackson, Manager Information Technology at Cardinia Shire Council in Australia.

 

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